Fact or Myth: Can Eating Chicken Cause Cancer?

This is a FACT.

Would you like your chicken traditional, crispy, or extra-cancerous?

It sounds like a bad dream at KFC, but unfortunately, it’s true: Consuming conventional, nonorganic chicken meat can increase your risk for cancer.

This is due to the way factory-farmed chickens are raised and fed, including with arsenic, a known carcinogen. The arsenic is part of a growth-promoting ingredient called roxarsone, produced by a subsidiary of Pfizer. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, roxarsone helped prevent a parasitic disease in chickens known as coccidiosis.

After years of claiming that roxarsone posed no threats to humans, a recent FDA study finally proved conclusively that chickens fed roxarsone contained higher levels of carcinogenic arsenic in their meat than those not fed the chemical.

Based on the FDA study, Pfizer voluntarily pulled roxarsone from shelves in the U.S. – but it’s still being sold and fed to chickens elsewhere. chicken cancer

The Chicken Cancer

John Robbins, author of the bestseller, Diet for a New America, says that 90% of factory-farmed chickens are infected with leukosis aka chicken cancer.

Robbins attributes this rampant chicken cancer to the fact that the chickens’ raw skin rubs against their cages, creating a disease-ridden environment. “When I first saw these birds, I was startled by the sight,” said Robbins, “and didn’t even recognize they were chickens. Their skins are raw and sore and bright red. They look more like a walking wound than a bird.”

Due in part to the filthy conditions, the Bureau of Labor has listed poultry processing as one of the most hazardous of all occupations.

Bacteria: Another Killer Lurking in Your Chicken

Mansour Samadpour, a leading bacterial microbiologist, also conducted a study recently to analyze the harmful substances in grocery-store chicken.

“The analysis of these samples found that 65% of the birds tested had campylobacter, 19% had salmonella, and 2% had E. coli or listeria,” said Samadpour.

The FDA requires inspectors to test for these contaminants in slaughterhouses—but the FDA does not, however, look for Staphylococcus aureus, a toxin found in an alarming number of Samadpour’s samples.

Staphylococcus aureus is a fast-acting toxin that often causes gastrointestinal symptoms within 30 minutes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this bug sickens at least 240,000 people a year.

A Better Chicken Choice

If chicken is a favorite staple in your diet, a safer and healthier alternative would be to opt for chicken raised organically in free-range conditions.